Home' Scoop : Scoop 53 Spring 2010 Contents 234 scoop SPRING 2010
ou remember that episode of
Friends, where the characters all
discuss their Freebie List? The
five famous people that they’d be
allowed to sleep with without their
partners g etting upset about it? Of course you
do... because (and let’s be honest) the first thing
you did when the credits rolled was to think about
who your own five ‘lucky stars’ would be.
Maybe it’s come up in conversation again since,
down the pub. Maybe your list’s evolved, adding
new celebrities you’ve taken a shine to, erasing
the ones you’ve g one off. But one way or another,
you’ve thought about it. You know you have.
The other week, one of the ladies on my list
came to town.
I found out about it from a flyer at a comic
shop. While my son bimbled around the store
playing with his Green Lantern Power Ring, the
guy behind the counter drew my attention to a
promotional leaflet for the Supanova convention.
“You g oing?”
“Wasn’t planning on it,” I admitted. There’d
been a few late nights at work recently. If I
gallivanted off for the weekend to speak geek with
like-minded citizens there’d be a better-than-even
chance of returning home to find my neglected
wife had changed the locks. Comic Shop Man
tapped the flyer with his finger, specifically
the headshot of a certain actress on a certain
List (she’s Number One, or Number Two
depending on my mood. I can be fickle).
“She’s g oing to be there, you know.”
I didn’t know. And now that I did, I actually
found myself weighing the options: meeting
Number One/Two against being forced to break
into my own home at the end of the day.
“I’ll have to clear it with my wife,” I muttered
with uncharacteristic and testosterone-sapped
good sense. I gazed down at the glossy headshot.
“But yeah, I am a little obsessed with her.”
Comic Shop Man looked me straight in the eye.
“We all are, mate. We all are.”
And so I mentioned it to my good lady and she
smiled at me in such an indulgent way that I could
only interpret it as tacit approval. After all, she
knows who’s on my List, just as I know who’s on
hers... So. Green light.
Whereupon I decide I’m not going.
The thing is, I’m not good with stars. Not the
ones I like, anyway. Yes, I’ve interviewed a few
big names in my time, but that’s work, it’s an ‘in’
that precludes all that awkward fannishness (is that
a word? It should be). Put me in a room with a
celebrity I genuinely like, however, where I have
to make small talk... I was assailed with visions of
standing in front of her, grinning like a loon and
mumbling something like, “You’re very pretty”.
And that’s Best Case Scenario. The worst? Well
there was this time in Sydney...
My wife was working at the BBC, organising
a PR tour for a very famous comedian/
documentarian whom I admired immensely.
“Come and meet him,” she said.
So there I was, in the same room as this idol.
I had so much to say to him, about the manifold
ways in which he’d inspired me. All I had to do was
cross the room and shake his hand.
I got within two feet, tripped on a chair and
face-planted at his feet. He was very good about it.
But what if the same thing happened with
One/Two? Quite apart from the abject humiliation
I’d suffer, she has bodyguards.
A friend of mine who works in entertainment
news in LA assured me I had nothing to worry
about. “I queued behind her for a flight once,” he
said, adding, “her hair smells really nice.” Which –
aside from being an ever-so-slightly-creepy bit of
info – would only be of comfort to me if I landed
on her head when my legs inevitably gave out.
So I didn’t go. And perhaps it’s better that way,
never to meet someone on The List. The idea’s
always g oing to be better than the reality, isn’t it?
Which is why my wife won’t be meeting that
tennis player when he comes out for the Open,
Which celebrities are
on your ‘to do’ list, and
what would happen if you
actually got to meet one?
words pete kempshall « illustration mike rigoll
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